Suppose I brought my minivan into the Cerf Auto Repair Shop because it wouldn't shift gears. After tinkering around for a bit, suppose Cerf came up to me and told me he just couldn't fix the problem, and my best option would be to junk the car and buy a new one.
That would be a failure on his part. That would be an admission that he can't do his job, and my only option would be to start over. He may hem and haw, but his inability to even diagnose the problem, let alone solve it, would tell me that he can't do the job he advertised he could do.
What Richmond and Cerf are admitting is that they cannot improve the quality of a "failing" charter school. They don't know how to fix a school that is not "succeeding," so they want to close it down and move on.
It's certainly understandable that these two wonks wouldn't even try to fix a failing charter: they don't know how schools work. Richmond was part of the failed Arne Duncan regime in Chicago; fitting, as Duncan was as unqualified as Richmond to run anything having to do with education. Cerf taught a few years in a tony private school before going on to become one of America's greatest failures in the field of public school privatization.
Now they have a plan: put people who may be as unqualified as they are in charge of a bunch of privately-run, publicly funded charters, whether local communities want them or not. If a charter works out - great! If they fail - well, just close 'em. We may end up with thousands of children whose lives are in chaos, and the taxpayers may be out boatloads of money, and we may have decimated the local public schools that are required to serve all children...
But you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, am I right?
NACSA - Working For Better Charter Schools Through Trial & Error!